February 1, 2019 / 8:49 AM / 15 days ago

HK shares end week on flat note; homebuilders slide

* .HSI almost unchanged; .HSCE +0.3 pct; post weekly gains

* Property stocks drop as housing market reports weak data

* Progress in Sino-U.S. trade talks lift rest of the market

HONG KONG, Feb 1 (Reuters) - Hong Kong stocks ended flat in lacklustre session on Friday, as optimism from the Sino-U.S. trade talks were offset by a drop in index-heavy real estate and financial shares. ** At the close of trade, the Hang Seng index eased less than 0.1 percent to 27,930.74 points. The benchmark index gained 1.3 percent this week. ** The Hang Seng China Enterprises index added 0.3 percent on Friday, up 1.8 percent week-on-week. ** Most other sectors climbed after China and the United States made progress in their trade negotiations. The sub-index tracking energy shares ended 0.3 percent higher, while the IT sector rose 0.9 percent. ** U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday he will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping soon to try to seal a comprehensive trade deal, noting that Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin were invited to bring a U.S. negotiating team to Beijing around mid-February. ** The comment came after the latest round of Sino-U.S. trade talks in Washington, and a meeting between Trump and Liu He, Chinese vice premier. The Chinese delegation said in a statement that the two days of high-level talks made “important progress,” official Xinhua news agency reported. ** For the first time in two years, Hong Kong’s property values in December dropped below outstanding mortgage loans, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority said on Thursday. ** Meanwhile, Hong Kong private residential prices slip for 5 consecutive months, sliding 2.4 pct in December, according to government data. ** That pressed share prices of some of the city’s largest developers and lenders. The Hang Seng’s sub-index for properties dropped 0.8 percent, while financials slid 0.4 percent. ** The top gainer on the Hang Seng was WH Group Ltd, which gained 5.7 percent, while the biggest loser was Swire Pacific Ltd, which dropped 1.8 percent. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was close to flat, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed up 0.1 percent. ** The top gainers among H-shares were CITIC Securities Co Ltd , which ended up 5 percent, followed by GF Securities Co Ltd, which closed 4.1 percent higher and Shenzhou International Group Holdings Ltd, which ended up 4 percent. ** The three biggest H-shares percentage decliners were China Tower Corp Ltd, which ended down almost 3 percent, China Vanke Co Ltd, which closed 2.5 percent lower and China Merchants Bank Co Ltd, which closed 1.6 percent weaker. ** About 1.72 billion Hang Seng index shares were traded. The volume traded in the previous trading session was 2.29 billion. ** At close, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 16.83 percent over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares. ** The short and one-factor leveraged Hang Seng index, which is designed to replicate the payoff of a short or leveraged portfolio and is linked to the movements of the Hang Seng Index, rose 0.05 percent to 4,946.66 points. (Reporting by Noah Sin, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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